Introducing the Metiers d'Art Legend of the Chinese Zodiac, the Snake

A brand new Metiers d'Art collection that will span on a 12 year period, each year with an animal from the Chinese zodiac engraved and applied to the dial.

Engravers and enamellers have worked in alternating pairs on the Year of the Snake, models crafted in pink gold or platinum and issued in two 12-piece limited series exclusively available through the brand’s own-name Boutiques.
 
From the press release:
 
A contemporary alliance of traditional artistic crafts for a magnificent dial
 
The leaf motif appearing on the dial and stemming from classic Chinese iconography, is etched directly in the metal. The pattern remains semi-embedded and stands out from its gold base by a subtle stage-setting of variously accentuated reliefs creating a depth effect. The raised leaves appear to be floating over the dial.

With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work, the artisan provides a tangible expression of the artistic vision behind this creation.
 
Then comes the stage of Grand Feu enamelling, a technique invented in Geneva and which remains the exclusive preserve of a rare breed of artisans. By applying the enamel in successive layers, the enamel specialist further enhances the visual intensity of the blue or bronze-toned dial. The necessity of maintaining tight control of the colour and the reactions to the firing process that takes place in a kiln at around 800 to 900°C, calls for a specific way of reasoning that takes years to acquire. A final layer of enamel is then applied before a final firing operation that vitrifies the dial and lends a shiny glazed effect that gives added definition to the floral motif.
 
The snake is delicately applied to the centre of the dial, poised as if ready to spring through the sapphire crystal and thus creating a truly striking effect
 
 
A calibre focusing on space with an original display
 
Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac collection owes its superb scope for expressing the artistic crafts to Calibre 2460 G4. In keeping with its longstanding tradition of offering a broad variety of original displays, Vacheron Constantin perpetuates the art of watchmaking by providing a hands-free display of time. It does so through four windows respectively revealing the hour, the minutes, the day and the date. The first two indications are of the dragging kind and the last two of the jumping type, and each appears through one of the four apertures arranged around the central dial motif. Beating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. On the occasion of the recent 125th anniversary of the Hallmark, the 12 original criteria governing this distinction were updated. Having previously applied exclusively to the movement, the new Hallmark of Geneva criteria now certify the excellence of the watch as a whole.
 
 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

 Year of the Snake

Cal 2460 G4
Tss Tss
10/29/2012 - 18:53
Congratulations VC.  What a great idea to create this new collection. I love the concept and I am very pleased to see the calibre 2460 G4 at the honor.  How many ex of each version is planned to be produced? And only during their chinese zodiacal year or could be produced some later years at request? I wait to discover these artistic creations in 2013 smiley My zodiacal chinese animal is planned in X delayed years frown, but the wait to discover the VC artistic representation contribute to the charm of this collection. BRAVO Vacheron Constantin. You are my Best Haute Horlogerie Brand. Thanks Alex to share in advance these novelties. Cheers, Liger
There will be 12 of each
10/31/2012 - 10:37
e
beautiful (nt)
10/30/2012 - 00:36
.
in terms of design, a beautiful reinterpretation of previous...
10/30/2012 - 01:37
Metiers d'Art models. I think this concept is closest to the Alexander the Great for the Greek market. In terms of keeping interest in the following developments it is a genious marketing twist. Way to go,Vacheron. In terms of revenue, a bow towards the strongest purchase power market at this time and a secure sell-out. really a brilliant collectionyes
Re: Introducing the Metiers d'Art Legend of the Chinese Zodiac, the Snake
10/30/2012 - 08:18
This is really not my style of watch but I find this strangely attractive
Alex, very interesting. I like the gold version more. I find the
10/30/2012 - 10:27
Platinum version a bit cold. According to the chinese zodiac, I think I'm a dragon. Do you know when the dragon piece will be released? Accordingly I will begin saving up? :-)
Alex, very interesting. I like the gold version more. I find the
10/30/2012 - 10:29
Platinum version a bit cold. According to the chinese zodiac, I think I'm a dragon. Do you know when the dragon piece will be released? Accordingly I will begin saving up? :-)
considering that 2013 is the year of the Snake you should look
10/31/2012 - 10:39
up the chinese calendar and see when the Dragon falls (I would guess in 12 years as if I recall well 2012 is the year of the Dragon)
Re: considering that 2013 is the year of the Snake you should look
11/02/2012 - 14:46
Thanks Alex...
I just love the Metiers d’Art watches.
10/30/2012 - 17:22
Wonderful to have this treat year after year.  I like that the windows displaying the time are now with a gold / platinum frame and seem to have been made smaller.  I think that it makes the watch more finished compared to the Masks and the Four Seasons collection. I do like the Four seasons a lot but somehow the dials are not in balance because of the huge windows in the top of the watch and the smaller one underneath displaying too many numbers. I wish Vacheron Constantin great success with this collection and thanks for making life a bit more fun. 
I have always liked this watch
10/31/2012 - 14:04
starting with the series of 4 seasons.  Its amazing.  I really like the PT version here more than the gold.  Looks like VC has given me a reason to collect them for 12 years straight!
I don't know if I should be happy or sad?
10/31/2012 - 15:06
Sad that VC decided to start the Chinese Astrology with the Year of the Snake (which starts Feb. 2013), which means I have to wait the longest - another 12 years before the Year of the Dragon comes up again! sad Or should I be happy that I have 12 years to save up for a Dragon? wink Either way...the watch itself looks wonderful! BR, Dan
Ahem, Dan....
10/31/2012 - 16:41
You should know by now that I'm greedy. ;-)
10/31/2012 - 16:50
The new MDA series isn't quite the same, :-)
I love the dial on this one but there is something wrong with
10/31/2012 - 16:53
the hands.
Re: I don't know if I should be happy or sad?
10/31/2012 - 17:27
My sign is the horse which comes after the snake in 2014! Too little time to save up! I am sure the horse will be a beautiful piece in this series, just like the snake in the pictures Alex posted.
Wow what a beautiful watch!!!
11/01/2012 - 17:59
Waiting to see how the year of the pig will turn out smiley 
A snake charmer...
11/01/2012 - 21:23
Alex- I sense the start of a wonderful journey... Tony
Beautiful pieces
11/02/2012 - 12:26
I really like the color combo for the platinum version. I do think however that the watches would have looked nicer with a semi-transparent dial, a la Masques...  I am happy that VC is continuing to release watches with this time display, I really like it a lot.